Genesis 16

1Sarai, Avram's wife, had borne him no children. She had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar.

אוְשָׂרַי אֵשֶׁת אַבְרָם לֹא יָלְדָה לוֹ וְלָהּ שִׁפְחָה מִצְרִית וּשְׁמָהּ הָגָר׃

2And Sarai said to Avram, “Look, Hashem has kept me from bearing. Consort with my maid; perhaps I shall have a son through her.” And Avram heeded Sarai's request.

בוַתֹּאמֶר שָׂרַי אֶל־אַבְרָם הִנֵּה־נָא עֲצָרַנִי יְהֹוָה מִלֶּדֶת בֹּא־נָא אֶל־שִׁפְחָתִי אוּלַי אִבָּנֶה מִמֶּנָּה וַיִּשְׁמַע אַבְרָם לְקוֹל שָׂרָי׃

3So Sarai, Avram's wife, took her maid, Hagar the Egyptian—after Avram had dwelt in the land of Canaan ten years—and gave her to her husband Avram as concubine.

גוַתִּקַּח שָׂרַי אֵשֶׁת־אַבְרָם אֶת־הָגָר הַמִּצְרִית שִׁפְחָתָהּ מִקֵּץ עֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים לְשֶׁבֶת אַבְרָם בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וַתִּתֵּן אֹתָהּ לְאַבְרָם אִישָׁהּ לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה׃

4He cohabited with Hagar and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was lowered in her esteem.

דוַיָּבֹא אֶל־הָגָר וַתַּהַר וַתֵּרֶא כִּי הָרָתָה וַתֵּקַל גְּבִרְתָּהּ בְּעֵינֶיהָ׃

5And Sarai said to Avram, “The wrong done me is your fault! I myself put my maid in your bosom; now that she sees that she is pregnant, I am lowered in her esteem. Hashem decide between you and me!”

הוַתֹּאמֶר שָׂרַי אֶל־אַבְרָם חֲמָסִי עָלֶיךָ אָנֹכִי נָתַתִּי שִׁפְחָתִי בְּחֵיקֶךָ וַתֵּרֶא כִּי הָרָתָה וָאֵקַל בְּעֵינֶיהָ יִשְׁפֹּט יְהֹוָה בֵּינִי וּבֵינֶיךָ׃

6Avram said to Sarai, “Your maid is in your hands. Deal with her as you think right.” Then Sarai treated her harshly, and she ran away from her.

ווַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָם אֶל־שָׂרַי הִנֵּה שִׁפְחָתֵךְ בְּיָדֵךְ עֲשִׂי־לָהּ הַטּוֹב בְּעֵינָיִךְ וַתְּעַנֶּהָ שָׂרַי וַתִּבְרַח מִפָּנֶיהָ׃

7An angel of Hashem found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the road to Shur,

זוַיִּמְצָאָהּ מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה עַל־עֵין הַמַּיִם בַּמִּדְבָּר עַל־הָעַיִן בְּדֶרֶךְ שׁוּר׃

8and said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” And she said, “I am running away from my mistress Sarai.”

חוַיֹּאמַר הָגָר שִׁפְחַת שָׂרַי אֵי־מִזֶּה בָאת וְאָנָה תֵלֵכִי וַתֹּאמֶר מִפְּנֵי שָׂרַי גְּבִרְתִּי אָנֹכִי בֹּרַחַת׃

9And the angel of Hashem said to her, “Go back to your mistress, and submit to her harsh treatment.”

טוַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה שׁוּבִי אֶל־גְּבִרְתֵּךְ וְהִתְעַנִּי תַּחַת יָדֶיהָ׃

10And the angel of Hashem said to her, “I will greatly increase your offspring, And they shall be too many to count.”

יוַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה הַרְבָּה אַרְבֶּה אֶת־זַרְעֵךְ וְלֹא יִסָּפֵר מֵרֹב׃

11The angel of Hashem said to her further, “Behold, you are with child And shall bear a son; You shall call him Ishmael, For Hashem has paid heed to your suffering.

יאוַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה הִנָּךְ הָרָה וְיֹלַדְתְּ בֵּן וְקָרָאת שְׁמוֹ יִשְׁמָעֵאל כִּי־שָׁמַע יְהֹוָה אֶל־עָנְיֵךְ׃

12He shall be a wild ass of a man; His hand against everyone, And everyone's hand against him; He shall dwell alongside of all his kinsmen.”

יבוְהוּא יִהְיֶה פֶּרֶא אָדָם יָדוֹ בַכֹּל וְיַד כֹּל בּוֹ וְעַל־פְּנֵי כָל־אֶחָיו יִשְׁכֹּן׃

13And she called Hashem who spoke to her, “You Are El-roi,” by which she meant, “Have I not gone on seeing after He saw me!”

יגוַתִּקְרָא שֵׁם־יְהֹוָה הַדֹּבֵר אֵלֶיהָ אַתָּה אֵל רֳאִי כִּי אָמְרָה הֲגַם הֲלֹם רָאִיתִי אַחֲרֵי רֹאִי׃

14Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it is between Kadesh and Bered.

al KAYN ka-RA la-b'-AYR b'-AYR la-KHAI ro-EE hi-NAY vayn ka-DAYSH u-VAYN BA-red

ידעַל־כֵּן קָרָא לַבְּאֵר בְּאֵר לַחַי רֹאִי הִנֵּה בֵין־קָדֵשׁ וּבֵין בָּרֶד׃

 16:14   Therefore the well was called Beer-lahairoi

Rabbi Samson R. Hirsch (1808-1888)

No longer able to bear her suffering in the home of her mistress Sara, Hagar runs to the desert in search of relief and solitude. According to Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, when Hagar subsequently encounters the angel she realizes that one is never alone or out of God’s sight. The well where this encounter takes place is therefore named be’er lachai ro-ee (באר לחי ראי), the ‘well of the Living One who sees me.’ Specifically in Eretz Yisrael, God’s presence and watchful eye is felt strongly, as it says in Devarim (11:12) “on which Hashem your God always keeps His eye.”

15Hagar bore a son to Avram, and Avram gave the son that Hagar bore him the name Ishmael.

טווַתֵּלֶד הָגָר לְאַבְרָם בֵּן וַיִּקְרָא אַבְרָם שֶׁם־בְּנוֹ אֲשֶׁר־יָלְדָה הָגָר יִשְׁמָעֵאל׃

16Avram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Avram.

טזוְאַבְרָם בֶּן־שְׁמֹנִים שָׁנָה וְשֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים בְּלֶדֶת־הָגָר אֶת־יִשְׁמָעֵאל לְאַבְרָם׃